Thanksgiving is anticipated to kickoff the second busiest holiday travel season in 19 years.
According to AAA, more than 55 million travelers are making plans to take a trip of 50 miles or more for the holiday.
A majority of those travelers are anticipated to be driving to their location.
More vehicles on the road means more opportunities for crashes.
“In Thanksgivings past, I know that the travel tends to be heavy throughout the day,” said Sgt. Mary Kaye Lucas of the Utah Highway Patrol.
Add bad weather to the mix, and the possibility for accidents increases.
“In the event, there is inclement weather we get a lot of crashes because people are traveling too fast for the existing conditions,” said Sgt. Lucas.
It’s a state law that drivers shouldn’t operate a vehicle at a speed faster than what is reasonable based on roadway conditions.
So, if there’s ice, snow or slush on the roadways, by law, drivers are expected to slow down or risk getting a ticket or causing a crash.
“You have to think about it,” said Sgt. Lucas. “Can I safely operate my vehicle at these conditions at this speed?”
AAA projects the Wednesday before Thanksgiving will be the busiest travel day with trips slated to take as much as four times longer than normal.
That includes driving to Salt Lake City International Airport where there’s also the potential for delays.
“The busiest day will be the Wednesday before Thanksgiving when we’re expecting 29,000 people to come through the security checkpoint,” said Lori Dankers of TSA Public Affairs.
The Transportation Security Administration expects the Sunday after Thanksgiving as their busiest day when roughly 30,000 people will be screened through airport security checkpoints.
“We’re definitely going to feel more people coming through here,” said Dankers.
Whether traveling by air or on roadways, you are being asked to be prepared.
“You need to allow enough time to ensure that every step of the travel process can be completed,” said Dankers.
If you’re flying with gifts, TSA is asking travelers to use gift bags instead of wrapping paper in case it needs to access them.